Advice & Resources for Music Creators During Coronavirus Outbreak

The purpose of this page is to provide IMRO members with regularly updated information and advice regarding Covid-19.

We fully appreciate that this is a difficult and worrying time for you right now. Many of IMRO’s members are self-employed freelancers and small businesses who are reliant on the income that they receive from music licensing. Please be assured that IMRO is doing everything within its power to protect revenue streams for members and affiliates over the coming weeks and months.

Our monthly distribution schedule has been maintained since the start of this crisis. Royalty payments to our members and affiliates continue to be our top priority. We expedited the IMRO radio distribution to a monthly payment schedule with effect from the April 2020 distribution.


Member Distributions:
Membership Enquiries:

IMRO Member Helpdesk: E: P: +353 1 6614844


IMRO Member Helpdesk
Government Advice
Music Industry Support
Financial Support

Mental Health Support
Members in Northern Ireland & UK
Making the most of your IMRO Membership
Live Streaming Resources
Studio & Musical Instrument Care
Online Seminars & Workshops

The entire creative community in Ireland is experiencing an unprecedented level of upheaval right now. Be assured that IMRO is here to help you navigate through these very challenging times.

IMRO Member FAQs

Other than seeking funding or State Aid, is there anything else I can do for my business right now?

We encourage our members to reach out to people online. Many performers streaming live performances with great success. Members should also try to encourage people to buy and stream their music. Now is also a great time to catch up on your business admin, especially in relation to your IMRO set-lists, etc. Microenterprises can access COVID-19 loans of up to €50,000 from MicroFinance Ireland. Loans are available at an interest rate of between 6.8% and 7.8%. Businesses can apply through their Local Enterprise Office or directly at – Eligibility criteria apply. Enterprise Ireland has a number of supports available to help businesses mitigate the impact of Covid-19:

I can’t afford to pay back my loans right now – will this affect my credit rating?

If you are struggling to pay back loans right now, we strongly encourage you to get in touch with your lender and to explain your situation and to ask for a temporary payment freeze. This way you won’t be missing payments – missed payments may affect your credit rating.

I am worried about being able to afford to pay my bills – what should I do?

If you are unable to pay your bills, for essentials such as gas, electricity, broadband etc, we strongly encourage you to contact your service provider and ask for a temporary payment freeze to give you some breathing space.

Can I stop paying my rent during this crisis?

There is no freeze on rent payments and rent will need to continue to be paid – but we encourage all of our members renting to contact their landlords and explain your situation and try to negotiate a payment freeze until this crisis is over. Rent Supplement is available as a short-term income support to those in the private rented sector who are finding it difficult to pay their rent. As many people in the private rented sector have lost significant employment income, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will use the full flexibility of the scheme to provide the necessary support. Legislation is being passed in the Dáil which would enact a blanket ban on tenancy terminations and rent increases, to ensure people can stay in their homes during this period, as well as an extension of the notice period for tenancies of less than six months from 28 to 90 days. If your tenancy is at risk or impacted in any way as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, contact Threshold at 1800 454 454.

Is there anything I can do about expenses on cancelled travel?

You may be in a position to claim the cost of your cancelled flights and / or accommodation under travel insurance. You should check with your insurer immediately.

I have spent money on a tour/gig that cannot now go ahead – what can I do?

This will depend on your situation. If you have insurance to cover cancelled performances, you may be able to make a claim. You should check with your insurer immediately. You should review your performance contracts as you may be entitled to recoup any amounts paid. If the payments were made for services that were not carried out/goods not delivered, you should seek the return of these payments (this may be dependent on your contract). Your bank may be able to assist you in having payments returned. International Touring updates and Advice from European Music Exporters Exchange is available at

I was paid in advance for a performance that did not go ahead – can I spend the money?

This will depend on your performance contract. Depending on what your cancellation clauses say in your contract, you may not be able to spend this money as you may need to return it. If you have a ‘pay or play’ contract, you may be able to keep the payment.

My main source of income was from performing, which I cannot do at the moment. What should I do?

You may be able to apply for the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme. If you are an employer who can show that you have lost at least 25 percent of your trade – you may  be able to claim 70 percent of your employees’ net wage back (up to a maximum of €410). If you avail of this subsidy, the government is encouraging  you to top-up your employees’ wages to maintain them at their current level of earnings. Please see the detailed guidance from the Revenue Commissioners. If you are self-employed you should apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a payment of €350 per week. It is available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost their job due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and were working up to or after March 13. The quickest and easiest way to apply for the emergency Covid-19 payment is by applying online at – All you need is your email to set up a basic MyGovID account which then allows you to apply online.

Will I continue to receive IMRO royalties during this crisis?

Our monthly distribution schedule as not been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. Royalty payments to our members and affiliates continue to be our top priority. We have expedited our radio distributions from quarterly distributions to a monthly payment schedule with effect from the April 2o20 distribution.  IMRO’s distribution schedule is available to review here:  

If you have further questions, that are not covered above, please contact the IMRO Member Covid-19 Support Desk at or 353 1 6614844


Please follow all government advice regarding social distancing. Self isolate and contact your GP by phone if you have any symptoms of Covid-19. | Updated regularly

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has established a helpline to assist those working in the cultural sector and so for any outstanding queries, email directly at with your question, and include a phone number for a call-back.

HSE Updates |

Department of Foreign Affairs |


The Basic Income for the Arts (BIA), a new pilot of basic income for artists and arts workers is set to open for applications early in 2022. 

Supports package of €50m for the Live Performance Sector | The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD announced additional funding of €50m to support the Live Performance Sector. The supports are in response to the introduction of new restrictions on live performance capacities. Further details available, here:

The Live Performance Support Scheme (LPSS3) will support events due to be staged in December 2021 and January 2022 which had to be curtailed, cancelled or rescheduled due to the imposition of restrictions on audience capacity in live performance to 50% of seated capacity, with all indoor events concluding by 8pm. The objective of this scheme is to co-fund production costs for venues to programme live events in order to generate employment opportunities for artists, musicians, performers and crews. Application forms will be made available on the department’s website at 1pm on Monday 20 December 2021 and the scheme will close for applications at 1pm on Wednesday 19 January 2022.

The Arts Council bursary supports professional artists at any stage of their career, providing them with the resources and time to engage with their art. The maximum bursary amount was increased by the Arts Council to €20,000 for the award, due to the impact of the pandemic on the sector. The deadline for the next round of bursary applications is 3 February 2022: 

The Arts Council Touring and Dissemination of Work Scheme | Applications are invited for proposals seeking funding to support touring and dissemination of work across a range of artforms and art practices. This scheme is designed to support the touring and dissemination of work starting between July 2022 and December 2022. The deadline to apply is Thursday 13 January 2022: 

The Arts Council has announced a €1 million fund to enable artists to make new and original art during the COVID-19 crisis. The scheme, called the Arts Council COVID-19 Crisis Response Award, is designed to support the creation of new artistic work and its dissemination online for the public benefit: | Please note this fund is currently closed to new applicants at this time.

Global Relief Fund For Live Music Sector | Live Nation has committed $10 million to Crew Nation – contributing an initial $5 million to the fund, then matching the next $5 million given by artists, fans and employees dollar for dollar: Please note this fund is currently closed to new applicants at this time.

International Touring updates and Advice from European Music Exporters Exchange | 

Bandcamp Fridays: On the first Friday of every month, Bandcamp waive their revenue share for all sales made through the platform. |

For an up-to-date list of further funding opportunities and deadlines, please visit The Journal of Music at:

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection have a range of measures to provide income support to people affected by COVID-19.

Link >>> Latest updates on COVID-19 from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

COVID-19: How to Apply for the Government’s Emergency Unemployment Payment

The COVID -19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment scheme was closed to new applicants in July 2021, but it will reopen for a limited time to support people who lose their employment as a result of the new COVID-19 public health restrictions from Tuesday 7 December 2021.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) is open to you if you are an employee or self-employed and lost your job due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information see:

You can apply here:

Microenterprises can access COVID-19 loans of up to €50,000 from MicroFinance Ireland. Loans are available at an interest rate of between 6.8% and 7.8%. Businesses can apply through their Local Enterprise Office or directly at Eligibility criteria apply. Microfinance Ireland COVID-19 Business Loan FAQs

Enterprise Ireland has a number of supports available to help businesses mitigate the impact of Covid-19:

Revenue | The following information, guidance and advice is available to assist taxpayers, and their agents, experiencing a range of difficulties caused by the impacts of the COVID-19 virus:

In a first of its kind for Ireland’s creative sector, Minding Creative Minds (MCM), a free 24/7 wellbeing support programme for the Irish Music Sector, delivered by Spectrum Life, was launched in response to the pandemic. 

The initial phase of Minding Creative Minds, a free 24/7 Wellbeing and support programme goes live for musicians, songwriters, artist managers and event production crew.  MCM is a Mental Wellbeing Support Programme and includes access to the following wellbeing services:

  • 24/7 Dedicated Phone Line (Phone 1800 814 244) (Calling from NI – 0800 0903677)
  • Counselling Service (Short term intervention / Up to 6 Sessions)
  • Telephone Counselling 
  • Secure Video Counselling
  • Extensive Web Portal & App enabling live chat function with a counsellor                           

In addition to the mental health support system offered, Minding Creative Minds looks at the whole individual resulting in the programme also offering access to a number of additional services structured to help users with various issues they may face such as:

  • Advice on practical, day-to-day issues that cause anxiety and stress
  • Legal assistance for a range of issues
  • Financial assistance and consumer advice
  • Career guidance and life coaching
  • Support for non-Irish nationals and their families
  • Mediation for conflict resolution

For further details visit:

Need help now? If you or someone you know needs help urgently, please contact: 

Pieta House: 1800 247 247

SAMARITANS: 116 123 (ROI & UK)

Messaging Support Service

A new mental health messaging support service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It provides in-the-moment anonymous support when you need it most. This service aims to connect you with a trained volunteer in less than 5 minutes. They will listen to you and help you think more clearly, enabling you to know that you can take the next step to feeling better.

Text YMH to 086 1800 280 (Standard SMS rates may apply)

A Lust for Life – For tips on money management, psychological survival and staying calm during COVID-19: 

HSE advice on managing your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak:

Music distributor Record Union has launched The Wellness Starter Pack: a toolbox for wellbeing, created with music makers in mind. In a collection of videos and articles, industry experts explore the impact that sleep, nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, and positivity have on artists’ mental health, along with actionable steps forward.

Guide to Supporting the Mental Health & Wellbeing of Musicians –

The guide covers everything musicians, and those who work with musicians, need to know:

  • The most common mental health problems, and causes, in musicians
  • Healthy practices for mental wellbeing, like reframing unhelpful thoughts and practicing mindfulness
  • Where to get additional support, through the NHS, a charity, or privately


Given the particular difficulties that the creative community might be facing at this time in relation to mental health, We asked Bressie if he would do a special video introduction to his ‘Where is My Mind’ podcast series for our members.

Podcast Links


Team Mental Health

Team Mental Health is a specialist organisation dedicated to delivering an expert led, whole organisation approach to mental health and wellbeing. Through online and face to face mental health awareness training, online resources, consultation and the delivery of bespoke mental health strategies we empower individuals and organisations to thrive.


This is a very challenging time for those working in creative industries worldwide. As the loss of touring revenue will be felt greatly, it is vital that artists continue to communicate with their fans in alternative ways and that fans continue to support performers.

  • Broadcast and online royalties will be important during this time, music fans should make an effort to request their favourite Irish artists across radio/TV stations.
  • Buying merchandise will help artists. Those who have had tours cancelled are likely to have ordered t-shirts etc to sell at gigs. Artists, ensure your fans know where they can buy your merch.
  • Online streamed performances are a good way of connecting with existing fans, and creating new ones. It could also be an opportunity to collaborate with fellow performers remotely.
  • Host live Q&As on your social channels, be sure to redirect viewers to where they can purchase your releases or merchandise.
  • Think outside the box. Have an unusual idea how to connect with fans? Now is the perfect time to give it a go.


During this period of social distancing, restricted live performance opportunities and curtailed audio/video production, now is an ideal opportunity for you to ensure that you are doing everything possible to maximise your membership of IMRO. Providing IMRO with as much detail as possible in relation to all your live performances and music usage in film and TV productions will greatly assist us in tracking your royalties in the most efficient way possible. We have provided some useful information below.

Music Used in Audio Visual Productions

Why does IMRO request notifications of audio visual productions along with corresponding cue sheets?

  • Notifications of audio-visual productions in which your music has been used and the corresponding details of your musical works will be sent by IMRO to our sister societies promptly to ensure accurate and timely distribution of royalties where qualifying performances have taken place.
  • Cue sheets form the basis of audio visual documentation both domestically and internationally. International collecting societies request cue sheets as the first step in documenting musical works for the purpose of distributing associated royalties. IMRO posts cue sheets to an international database which is accessed by our sister societies. IMRO provides cue sheets promptly, once they are available, in order to secure royalties as soon as possible.

Submitted cue sheets should be the complete and final cue sheets containing all music used in the production. The cue sheet information identifies the musical works used in the first instance with the corresponding musical works registrations determining how the royalties should be distributed.
IMRO receives cue sheets from various sources and members are encouraged to provide cue sheets for productions in which their music has been commissioned or included.
A full music cue sheet can be obtained from the production company. The complete cue sheet should include all music used in the production, the composer information, and publishers details where published, the music duration and the usage of each cue i.e. featured, background, opening and closing theme etc. To support the cue sheet documentation all musical works used in the production must be registered in full to ensure that royalties can be distributed. Members are encouraged to notify IMRO of a productions release, along with the territories where the production is to be released, if known, so that IMRO can notify the societies in the relevant territories and track the due royalties on behalf of our members.

Music Used in Commercials
If your music has been commissioned or included in a commercial/advertising campaign, then IMRO encourages you to provide us with the relevant details to assist in the distribution of royalties for qualifying performances. This is particularly valuable in terms of advertising campaigns that are exploited internationally, either through mainstream television or radio or via online video on demand or streaming platforms. This information assists IMRO in the tracking of commercial performances overseas to ensure qualifying royalties are distributed accurately and promptly.
Once a commercial has been finalised, you should complete the following steps: 

  1. Register the musical work(s) used in the commercial with IMRO via the online member portal. 
  2. Include the following supporting information from the advertising agency or production company when registering the work(s): 
  • Product and campaign title (with alternative titles if relevant)
  • Dates of transmission – this should include the start date and, if applicable, the end date of the campaign (a media schedule would be of benefit here)
  • Expected platforms of transmission – TV, radio and/or online campaign
  • Relevant territories of exploitation (these may be included in the media schedule
  • The stations/services featuring the campaign (these may be included in the media schedule)
  • Any associated identifiers for the adverts e.g. clock number, advertising codes etc.

Please note, if the work(s) are already registered with IMRO you can add this additional information to the work details online.
If you have any queries in relation to submitting work details for audio visual productions or commercials please email

IMRO Unmatched Performances and Commercials Databases Explained

IMRO’s process for matching performances to works is largely a computer automated one and there are several reasons why member’s works may appear in the IMRO Unmatched Performances or Unmatched Commercials Databases.

These usually are:

  • Work not registered at the time of matching
  • Title incorrectly spelt
  • Songwriter/composer name incorrectly spelt
  • Songwriter/composer name not given
  • Artist name incorrectly given as composer/songwriter name

Any works that fall into an unmatched category after each distribution are placed in the IMRO Unmatched Performances or Unmatched Commercials Databases.

These databases are made available online to members and other affiliated societies to research to enable them to identify works belonging to them and collect any royalties due.

Members can access these databases through the IMRO Member Portal. This easy-to-use interface enables Members to claim performances as theirs by linking them to musical works in their repertoire (providing, of course, that the works have already been registered correctly with IMRO). 

If you have yet to register for online access we would encourage you to do so now at and avail of the many benefits.

These include:

  • The ability to access your current repertoire details, as registered with IMRO.
  • The online Works Registration facility where Members can register works directly online.
  • A facility to register your Live Performances, both national and international. We encourage you to supply details of these performances on a regular basis.
  • Your Distribution Statements are available online allowing you to see more detail regarding performances of your works.

IMRO Gig Submissions App

The IMRO App enables you to register your gigs and set lists on-the-go in an efficient and easy way thereby speeding up the process of claiming royalties for your live performances.

Key Features:

  • Manage all your live performances notifications, including setlists and gig dates.
  • Locate venue details using GPS functionality.
  • Search your works catalogue for information on songs you have registered with IMRO.
  • Detailed FAQs on all functions.
  • Gig submission date deadline notification.

The app is available for the most popular iOS and Android smartphones and can be downloaded for free from the iTunes and Google Play stores.



Cherie Hu has shared some very insightful and useful tips around live streaming here.

Facebook have shared information around keeping people safe and informed about COVID-19 as well as a resource for live music broadcast best practises: Facebook and Instagram.

Google and Youtube have some useful tips on live streaming here and have published COVID-19 updates here. 


IMRO members Marion McEvoy, Owner/Engineer from Panchord Studio Dublin and multi award winning songwriter, performer and producer Phil Coulter share advice and tips on keeping your studio environment and musical equipment Covid-19 virus free.


Now is as good a time as ever to use your newfound downtime to hone your creative skills, enhance your music industry knowledge and improve your online networking channels.

If you are aware of any other supports or information resources that you think would be of benefit to music creators please contact:

Keep up to date with IMRO news and events

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